Holy shit, y’all. I just opened my lunch box to put my empty container back and got stabbed in the forehead by a plastic fork that flew out of the lid. Clearly, it’s going to be that kind of week.
Work has been a little rough for me lately, not because of the interaction with people, but because of the lack thereof. It’s been rather slow, but I can’t take a whole day off without my boss planting himself squarely on my ass, despite the fact that he won’t trust anyone to help him with his work either.
So to ease the pain, I’ve been drinking a lot of quality wine. I picked up a great bottle on Friday at lunch, and I even bought the husband a case of beer so I didn’t have to share. Unfortunately, he kept conspiring against me so that I didn’t actually get to open it until nearly 6:00, but once that cork was out, it was a smooth descent into tipsy madness.
Me, calling Ken’s cell from outside his work building: “KEN! If you don’t get your ass in this car and stop cork blocking me, I will kill you!”
Him *laughing*: “I’m comin’.”
Me, after a bottle of really good wine: I like the way French wine makes me feel. *Pause* Monsieur Cat, on the other hand, does not like the way French wine makes me behave. Seriously, look at that fat little fucker sitting there, judging me with his eyes.
Ken: You okay over there? You’re acting a little crazy.
Ken: Because you drank a whole bottle of wine?
Me: So? So what? SEW BUTTONS, MOTHAFUCKAH!
Man, that bottle was so exquisite that I didn’t have weird dreams that night, OR wake up with a hangover. The bad news is, I can’t afford a 2 bottle per week French wine habit. But! My birthday is coming up and I would not turn down a generous gift of Clos du Mont Olivet Chateauneuf du Pape. Hey! Quit laughing.
As my sister so helpfully pointed out, I tend to gear more toward gourmet artistry than Hamburger Helper cook, and I found that quite amusing, given our recipe of the week. After a weekend of being an absolutely lazy schmuck, comfort food was in order. So my gift to you this week is my fantabulous Beef Stroganoff.
Beef Stroganoff (sans weird box with rapey glove hand)
1- 2 ½ pound piece beef tenderloin cut into 1 x 2 x ½ inch strips
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup finely chopped shallots
1 pound small button mushrooms, thickly sliced (optional. Princess doesn’t eat fungus.)
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
¾ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
12 ounces wide egg noodles
1 tablespoon paprika
Pat meat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over high heat until very hot. Working in batches, add meat in single layer and cook just until brown on outside, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet.
Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped shallots and sauté until tender, scraping up browned bits, about 2 minutes. Add button mushrooms. Sprinkle with pepper and sauté about 12 minutes if you’re using the mushrooms. Add booze and reduce by half, then add beef broth. Simmer until liquid thickens and just coats a spoon, about 14 minutes. Stir in crème fraîche (or sour cream) and Dijon mustard. Add meat and any accumulated juices from baking sheet. Simmer over medium-low heat until meat is heated through but still medium-rare, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over egg noodles and sprinkle generously with paprika. Listen to your inner fat kid sing.